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Ben Gardner confident he will help the Cowboys one day

08/21/2014 6:52 PM

08/21/2014 6:54 PM

Ben Gardner won’t see the field again until next spring during the team’s organized team activities. Having had shoulder surgery last week, the defensive end will spend his rookie season on injured reserve.

Gardner, though, will try to have as productive a first season as he can during the six months he has to rehab.

“I’ll learn as much as I can without being out there,” Gardner said. “Obviously, you’d rather be out there as a rookie. But you can learn a lot just by watching these veteran guys and watching the guys at your position. Just being around the team. I’ll get all the mental reps I can, and I look forward to being around and using my rookie year still to benefit me in the long term.”

Dr. Anthony Romeo performed surgery on Garnder’s left shoulder last Friday in Chicago, repairing two torn ligaments. The seventh-round pick was injured during the team’s first padded practice in training camp.

Gardner said the shoulder injury was unrelated to the left pectoral muscle he injured last October.

“Coming in as a rookie, you want to prove your worth,” Gardner said. “They drafted me for a reason, and I wanted to kind of show I was worthy of that and show what I could do, and I really felt like I could come in and help this team right away. It hurts. But I have 100 percent confidence I can come back in the future. I’m still a very young player, and I think I still have a bright future.”

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Charean Williams has covered the NFL for 21 seasons. She's a Hall of Fame voter, a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and a proud Aggie. Follow her on Twitter at @NFLCharean

E-mail: cjwilliams@star-telegram.com

Clarence E. Hill Jr. has been the Dallas Cowboys beat writer since 1997. He's battle tested with one playoff win, six coaches, countless scandals, controversies and unfullfilled expectations. Follow him on Twitter at @clarencehilljr

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Drew Davison joined the Star-Telegram as a correspondent in 2007, primarily covering high schools along with helping out with Rangers, Cowboys and colleges coverage. He became one of the Rangers beat writers in July 2011, and also assists with coverage of Texas Motor Speedway and the Cowboys during the offseason. Davison graduated from the University of Kansas and had internships at The Kansas City Star and MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavison

E-mail: ddavison@star-telegram.com

Jimmy Burch is the college sports and golf writer/columnist for the Star-Telegram. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys and other Dallas-Fort Worth pro sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Jimmy_Burch

E-mail: jburch@star-telegram.com

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